Saturday, January 24, 2009

Limestone Coast

Apparently this is suppose to be a beautiful area of Australia. (I think most areas of Australia are probably beautiful areas). My thought was to make the most of my travel days... so that means how many national parks in how many days? 2 in one day isn't too much is it? I started the day with Parnka Point in Coorong National Park. Nice view here of Younghusband pennisula which is pretty much all sand dunes protecting the national park. and then I saw my first emu. It was just walking across the dry area of the lake. very cool. From there I stopped at Jack's Point and looked at the pelican breeding islands, though it is the wrong season. But I did see a line of flying pelicans on my journeys. Driving through this part of the world meant a lot of long flat roads (not quite as bad as the outback though). I also did a little hike past a couple of dry lakes. One was white because of the limestone carbonate, and the other was white because of the salt. It looked like snow it was so white, but was completely salt.

So the afternoon needed another national park. So I headed over to Narcaroote national park, known for its caves. While it was near the end of the day by the time I got there, there were still a few tours left for the day. So I got to go in Alexandria Cave, wow, the delicate limestone rock formations were beautiful. It wasn't like caving at home.... I was too late in the day for the Adventure tours, but walking around the big caverns was pretty cool. Then I got to go in Wet cave, which contrary to its name wasn't really wet, but was much more robust than the first cave. I then had some time before the next tour, so I went for a walk down a trail, had a picnic dinner then headed back to the bat cave. We got to go in the bat observatory, where we saw via infrared video cameras the bats stirring in the caves. There were even some juveniles who couldn't yet fly. We spent some time looking at them and then went to their wintering cave for a tour. On the way to the cave, I saw my first kangaroo. That was pretty cool. It was almost dusk but not quite when we were done in the wintering cave, so we returned to the observatory to watch the bats swirling at the mouth of the cave by camera. There was even a opossum on the ladder at the entrance to the cave. We then went out and watched the bats exit the mouth of the cave a few at a time. There was one light shinning away from the entrance and the bats swooped by it eating the insects. Bats are such interesting animals.

The next day started with seeing a kangaroo eating on the side of the road. Then I ended up in yet another national park - Canunda. I had read a description of a trail in this park that I really wanted to walk... so I drove to the park. Got turned around on the way and took a scenic route past a wind turbine farm. Then found out I was at the wrong entrance. So I looked at the map again and headed off. I ended up on a dirt road (a no no in the rental agreement) but forged ahead and eventually found pavement and the right entrance to the park. I was a little disgruntled by the time I found the parking lot, but after starting the trail, which had beautiful views of the southern ocean, sand dunes and limestone cliffs I was back in my amazed at the world state. I am truely amazed at this coastline. and I highly recommend the Limestone coast - definetly a treasure.

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